EDO: Ize-Iyamu, other losers gang up against Obaseki at tribunal to examine pre-election matters

With the addition of the ADP candidate in the last Edo guber election, there are now no fewer than eight candidates heading for tribunal to challenge the PDP candidate and winner Godwin Obaseki’s victory and eligibility in the September election.

After the APC loser Osagie Ize Iyamu announced on Monday he will continue the two pre-election suits he and his party filed against Obaseki, Lucky Iboi of the ADP also approached the tribunal sitting in Benin to challenge Obaseki’s victory.

Iboi is among the also-rans that now work under the aegis of the Edo 2020 Governorship Candidate Forum—to upturn Obaseki’s election.

Forum members who met in Benin on Tuesday to release an official statement include the ZLP candidate Bishop Akhalamhe; Idehen Lucky, APGA; Elder Felix Obayangbon, SDP; and others.

The ADP and his candidate are also challenging, among other things, Obaseki’s alleged ineligibility to contest based on “irregularities” in his certificates as well as “the fact that” he took part in the primaries of the APC and the PDP for the same election.

The petitioners, who joined the Independent National Electoral Commission, the PDP, Obaseki, the APC and Ize-Iyamu as first to fifth respondents in that order, averred that the university degree certificate submitted by the 3rd respondent, Godwin Noghehase Obaseki, issued by the University of Ibadan, was defective.

Iboi now wants from the tribunal a “declaration that the 3rd respondent (Obaseki) presented a forged and/or a false certificate to INEC in violation of section 182(1) [I] of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“A declaration that the 3rd respondent was at the time of the election, which held on 19/9/2020, not qualified to contest the election for having submitted a false/forged document or certificate to the 3rd respondent, (INEC) along with his Form EC9.”

“An order nullifying the governorship election, which held on 19/9/2020 in view of the fact that the 1st respondent returned the 3rd respondent, who was not qualified to contest the election as the winner of the election.”

The action of these petitioners might have stemmed for the APC experience in Bayelsa, where pre-election matters (about a running mate certificate) became the ground the Supreme Court used to upturn David Lyon’s victory on the eve of his swearing-in.